Watch: The first ‘Negro Kiss’ on film and its impact in ‘Keeping Black History Alive’

A silent short shot in 1898, "Something Good - Negro Kiss" is the first film featuring footage of African Americans showing affection.

“Something Good – Negro Kiss” is the first known film with footage featuring African Americans showing love. A short film shot in 1898, it shows two vaudeville performers, Gertie Brown and Saint Suttle, enacting a scene of affection and joy.

For audiences back then, this was quite daring and bold. During that time, they could only experience Black performers through minstrel shows

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The scene in “Something Good – Negro Kiss” is a playful exchange that resembles Thomas Edison’s “The Kiss,” an 1896 short that frequently played at the end of movies. Directed by pioneering Chicago filmmaker William Selig, “Negro Kiss” offered viewers a parallel to Edison’s offering in a way that also introduced Blacks in America to new heights of visibility, performance — and possibility.

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